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Estimating the Prevalence of Food Insecurity of Households with Children Under 15 Years, Across the Globe


Pereira, Audrey; Handa, Sudhanshu; & Holmqvist, Göran (2021). Estimating the Prevalence of Food Insecurity of Households with Children Under 15 Years, Across the Globe. Global Food Security, 28, 100482.


Target 2.1 of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) calls to end hunger in all its forms by 2030. Measuring food security among children under age 15, who represent a quarter of the world's population, remains a challenge and is infeasible for global monitoring. The SDG framework has agreed to use the Food Insecurity Experience Scale (FIES) to measure moderate and severe food insecurity. Using nationally-representative data from the Gallup World Poll (GWP) survey in 2014–15, we provide the first global and regional estimates of food insecurity among households with children under age 15. In addition, we test the robustness of the FIES against 1) monetary poverty and 2) the Negative Experience Index, a measure of well-being. Finally, we explore trends in per capita income as a determinant of food security (2006–15) to observe how this relationship fluctuated during the Great Recession. We find that across 147 countries and four territories, 41% of households with children under age 15 suffer from moderate or severe food insecurity, 19% from severe food insecurity, and 45% reported not having enough money to buy food in the previous 12 months. The relationship between food insecurity, poverty, and well-being varies by region, demonstrating that definitions of food insecurity depend on regional context, and encompass more than monetary poverty alone. Our findings will ideally encourage and provide motivation for continued global efforts to address food insecurity and monitor progress towards SDGs.


Reference Type

Journal Article

Article Type


Year Published


Journal Title

Global Food Security


Pereira, Audrey
Handa, Sudhanshu
Holmqvist, Göran

Data Set/Study

Gallup World Poll (GWP) Survey